The ambition of digitalisation to create centralised knowledge for all organisational actors may lead to the risk of de-contextualising that knowledge from the situation in which the information was generated, neglecting the specificities of local organisational contexts. To prevent such risk, digitalisation should promote the spread of a common language between its users who share rules and principles that lead to the same meanings. We refer to the concept of the language game to study how accounting reports receive meanings according to their use, and thereby how the use of accounting language helps in managing the specifics of organisational contexts. Considering complex organisations where different local accounting language games coexist, management accounting studies on digitalisation fail to explain how digital technology can promote the combination of those language games. The present study aims to answer the question of how digitalisation, promoting a global accounting language game, favours the combination of the accounting language games arising from local organisational contexts. This question is addressed by examining the case of the performance measurement of the new product development process in a multidivisional company. The case evidence highlights how a digital platform, promoting a corporate accounting language game for the whole organisation, favoured the combination of divisional accounting language games. The paper points out how digitalisation affects the boundaries between local and global accounting language games in the production of knowledge for decision-making. Also, the paper shows how digital technology is beneficial only when it does not compromise interactions between the different organisational contexts.

Digitalisation and accounting language games in organisational contexts

Ruggeri Daniela;Leotta Antonio;Rizza Carmela
2022

Abstract

The ambition of digitalisation to create centralised knowledge for all organisational actors may lead to the risk of de-contextualising that knowledge from the situation in which the information was generated, neglecting the specificities of local organisational contexts. To prevent such risk, digitalisation should promote the spread of a common language between its users who share rules and principles that lead to the same meanings. We refer to the concept of the language game to study how accounting reports receive meanings according to their use, and thereby how the use of accounting language helps in managing the specifics of organisational contexts. Considering complex organisations where different local accounting language games coexist, management accounting studies on digitalisation fail to explain how digital technology can promote the combination of those language games. The present study aims to answer the question of how digitalisation, promoting a global accounting language game, favours the combination of the accounting language games arising from local organisational contexts. This question is addressed by examining the case of the performance measurement of the new product development process in a multidivisional company. The case evidence highlights how a digital platform, promoting a corporate accounting language game for the whole organisation, favoured the combination of divisional accounting language games. The paper points out how digitalisation affects the boundaries between local and global accounting language games in the production of knowledge for decision-making. Also, the paper shows how digital technology is beneficial only when it does not compromise interactions between the different organisational contexts.
digitalisation; accounting; language game; De-contextualisation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/528064
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